Leena has two best friends. Åse is the only one she knows who doesn’t have a father who drinks, but her mother use to get drunk so it evens itself out. Riitta’s dad is drunk almost every day.

A recently built housing area in Ystad is filled with families of immigrants and low-income earners during the 60’s. To Leena and her Finnish parents, the new apartment is a total luxury: three rooms, a balcony, parquet flooring. But the locals quickly start calling the neighborhood: The Pigsties.

The reddish-yellow three floored houses become a collective place for Susanna Alakoski’s novel about Leena. Clear-eyed and fast-paced, she tells the story about herself, her parents, their neighbors and all the hilarious and drastic events that take place around her. But the laughter sticks in your throat when the real nature of this childhood portrayal is revealed.

Leena, her siblings, and her friends are thrown between periods of apparent tidiness and complete chaos. This is their moving story about social class, children’s vulnerability and their capacity to survive.

ABOUT THE BOOK

First published by Albert Bonniers förlag, Sweden 2006

RIGHTS SOLD TO

Albania, SHKUPI Publishing House
Denmark, Gyldendal
Finland, Schildts & Söderströms
Germany, Verlag Edition Fünf
Serbia, Heliks
Sweden, Albert Bonnier

REVIEWS

”Det är en klasskildring som svider – visst. Men dessutom, tänker jag, en tidsskildring som lyckas vara lika tydlig som tidlös. Storartat.”

Kulturnyheterna

”Utan författarens skarpa iakttagelseförmåga och avväpnande humor skulle den här boken vara outhärdlig läsning, nu har ”Svinalängorna” i stället blivit en av de mest fängslande och underhållande romaner jag har läst på många år.”

Svenska Dagbladet

”…en roman om klass, integritet och kön som länge efterlysts i den samtida svenska litteraturen.”

GP

”Svinalängorna kunde ha blivit en i raden av sociala eländesromaner, präglad av goda och korrekta tankar, men genom sin fräna realism och sitt skickligt genomförda barnaperspektiv undviker Susanna Alakoski alla klichéer. Det litterära Ystad blir aldrig som förr.”

Aftonbladet

BOOKS

Fiction